The need for site-specific design in the Gulf was raised by speakers at the World Architecture Congress, a forum during Cityscape Global 2011.
Rashad Bukhash, director of Architectural Heritage Department, Dubai Municipality, spoke of the emirate’s architecture in a presentation entitled ‘Dubai: Evaluating the city’s current architectural situation’.
Bukhash commented: “I think Dubai developed a little too fast, with hundreds of towers going up. But the situation has improved since 2008. Architects now have more time to analyse their buildings.
“The Municipality aspires an architecture that preserves the identity of Dubai and is in harmony with the climate of the region.”
Following Bukhash’s presentation, Tim Makower, partner, Allies and Morrison, UK, spoke about the situation in Qatar.
In his talk entitled ‘Qatar: Escalating expansion and beyond 2022’, Makower stated: “Qatar needs a sense of belonging. We are speeding up history. It is a natural process that happened in the 19th century. But it is very dangerous if there is no acknowledgment of human character.”
Conference chairman Dr John Alexander Smith, Professor of Architecture and Interior Design, American University in Dubai, closed the discussion. “Which proposals are uniquely belonging to Qatar or Dubai? That is the key question, and architects are failing if they can’t convince clients,” he said.